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Baby Markets: Money and the New Politics of Creating Families

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521513739
ISBN-10: 0521513731
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Editorial Reviews


"Michele Goodwin has done a masterful job of weaving together a wide range of contrasting points of view in law, policy, economics, and philosophy on the timely topic of Baby Markets in our contemporary post-Brave New World society. As a person who defends the interests of families after formation but who had only passing knowledge of reproductive technology and developments in marketing of component baby-making parts, I learned a great deal from this cutting-edge work."
- Diane L. Redleaf, Executive Director, Family Defense Center, Chicago Illinois

"Today children are conceived, born, and adopted in the marketplace - like it or not. By collecting a wide range of cutting-edge perspectives by leading experts on reproductive technologies, adoption, and economics, Baby Markets is an essential resource for understanding how these markets function as well as their profound implications for our society and the world."
- Dorothy Roberts, Northwestern University, author of Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty

"Baby Markets is a groundbreaking, must-read in today's growing era of adoption, surrogacy, and "non-traditional" families. Goodwin does an excellent job of integrating a broad array of authors and material in a manner that crystallizes the issues, and highlights the challenges and controversies involved. I have no doubt that Baby Markets will be increasingly and directly relevant in public policy decision-making and legal jurisprudence. The analysis of law and economics, social mores, parental rights, ethics and baby taboos should be required reading for anyone interested in the supply and demand for children in modern times."
- Steve P. Calandrillo, Charles I. Stone Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law

"The family is not private, and contemporary baby markets in transnational adoption and artificial reproductive technologies underscore this fact. The question is not whether but how the law has supported the commodification of family and kinship--racial and gendered enterprises of taste and choice--and what can be done about it now. Goodwin's brave and eye-opening collection paves the way for an intelligent and ethical response."
- David L. Eng, University of Pennsylvania, author of The Feeling of Kinship: Queer Liberalism and the Racialization of Intimacy

"Financial considerations are becoming ever more important in adoption and new reproductive technologies. Is this good or bad? How will it change the way we think about babies and the way we think about families? Baby Markets brings together some of the best thinkers on these subjects, and creates a vibrant exchange of ideas. It is the volume one must read for this increasingly important and controversial topic."
- Brian H. Bix, Frederick W. Thomas Professor of Law & Philosophy, University of Minnesota

Goodwin's Baby Markets is indispensable reading for anyone interested in learning how something so basic as having a baby has been transformed by the intersection of commerce and technology. These essays illuminate the promise and perils of this new way of becoming a parent better than anything else that I have read."
- Rick Banks, Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law, Stanford Law School

"A welcome entry to the important conversation about new ways of creating parenthood. This book gathers a stellar cast of scholars to consider the marketization of babies through ART, embryo and egg donation, international and transracial adoption. Recognizing that this train has already left the station, the authors analyze, in short and readable entries from a variety of perspectives, the economics of these new arrangements and revisit the question whether this commodification is an entirely unfortunate development--or whether, and how, harms associated with it may be controlled while allowing the benefits to infertile heterosexuals and to gays and lesbians who desire children."
- Cynthia Grant Bowman, Dorothea S. Clarke Professor of Feminist Jurisprudence, Cornell Law School

"Baby Markets offers a radical critique of a cherished principle-that commodification devalues human life and is a moral affront. Unafraid to ask hard questions and challenge fundamental assumptions, the authors show us how the making and procuring of babies has become a multi-billion dollar industry deeply influenced by the wealth and social status of those seeking progeny. With equal parts economics and ethics, calculation and compassion, the essays in this volume provide a trove of insights that map a new field of study in a brilliant and provocative way."
- Eric A. Feldman, JD., Ph.D., Deputy Dean for International Affairs and Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School

"Whoever said 'you don't choose your family' never read this book. Goodwin and the authors take us through riveting analyses of how law, technology, markets, and crime have functioned together or individually to shape, new constructions of families and, in some cases, destroy others. A must read!
- Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Professor of Law and Charles M. and Marion J. Kierscht Scholar, University of Iowa College of Law

"Baby Markets is an outstanding book. Professor Goodwin has gathered a group of the brightest legal minds to weigh in on subjects that strike at the very heart of our human existence. Through a provocative and far reaching exploration of how individuals construct families in the marketplace(s), this text provides critical insight into the politics of race, class, gender and sexuality. Moreover, the intersecting forces that frame Baby Markets in today's world: technology, policy, litigation, legislation, economics, transnationalism, identity, and desire, are explicated with remarkable clarity and rigor."
- Imani Perry, Professor, Center for African American Studies, Princeton University

"In Baby Markets, Professor Goodwin and her colleagues provide an unflinching account of the largely unregulated world of reproduction and adoption. They begin by exposing the vast extent of world markets for these services, expertly assessing their troubling racial and national implications. More surprisingly, several chapters suggest the possibilities these same markets hold for poverty-relief, equality, and justice. This varied collection is for anyone interested in the complicated and controversial world of 21st century family creation."
- Jill R. Horwitz, Louis and Myrtle Moskowitz Research Professor of Business and Law, University of Michigan Law School

Book Description

This book examines the ways in which Westerners create families through private, market processes. Michele Bratcher Goodwin and a group of contributing experts explore how financial interests, aesthetic preferences, pop culture, children's needs, race, class, sex, religion, and social customs influence who benefits from and who is hurt by the law and economics of baby markets.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (February 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521513731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521513739
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,166,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a collection of 19 essays by 24 authors about how issues of market economics affect the worlds of adoption and assisted reproduction. The editor's first objective is to point out that market economics is present in these two worlds, whether we like it or not, and rather than either denying or celebrating the fact, we ought to work hard to maximize the benefits of the market in these worlds and minimize the harms. Her second objective is to discuss the issues of market economics for adoption and assisted reproduction side by side and to point out the common factors between these two worlds.

All in all, I found the book a very valuable read. Ms. Bratcher Goodwin succeeded in both of her objectives. Any reader dealing with the infant or child adoption enterprises will have an excellent appreciation of how his issues relate to those of assisted reproduction - and vice versa. The work was well referenced.

All that said, I have a number of (hopefully) constructive criticisms:

1) It is unclear whom the intended audience is. Most of the essays read at the college graduate level and could not easily be followed by anyone without specific professional training.

2) I was disappointed not to find an essay from my field - embryo adoption - given that embryo adoption is the one endeavor that clearly overlaps the fields of adoption and assisted reproduction.

3) Of the 24 essay contributors, 18 were attorneys by training. Better representation from other fields valuable to this conversation: bioethics, moral philosophy, medicine, business economics, and social work, would have been valuable.is tendency.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Purchased this book for a law school class on Bioproperty. While certainly not for the casual reader, this book provides a strong collection of essays regarding the commodification of human reproduction. Does a decent job of providing pieces that cover both sides of a controversial issue. My only complaint is that the Kindle edition didn't provide page numbers, and lacked the metadata to provide "time left in chapter" estimates.
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Baby Markets: Money and the New Politics of Creating Families
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